Poetry Monday: Kyi May Kaung

RANGOON ZOO

The polar bear sat
sweltering
near its single
factory delivered
2 x 1 1/2 x 1 foot
block of
yellow
ice –
dejected bear –
the tropical
heat is killing
the seal in
the rectangular swimming
pool had
a little better
luck —
bear and seal exchanged for
priceless rare
takin –
very soon the bear
fed on corn on the cob —
the keepers had stolen the
meat for
their families —
very naturally died ==
the otter pool is bereft of swimming and squealing otters and
the tigress — loose skin on bones
must have by now
died —
the same tigress that
in her youth
bit the hand
of the keeper who showing off
too familiarly
patted her
head —
Take that she
said.

Kyi May Kaung is originally from Rangoon, Burma and has written four collections of poetry, an allegorical novel, She-Monkey Goes West, and a novella, Black Rice. Much of her work addresses oppression in Burma, now called Myanmar.

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